Senior Management Team


Mike Welsh, Principal 

Mike Welsh

Mike joined the College as Principal and Chief Executive in January 2018 from the College of North West London, where he was Deputy Principal for three-and-a-half years, leading it to a successful merger as a Good college.  Mike has been a senior leader, with extensive experience in FE Colleges, Schools and Private Training Providers, since 1996 and also worked for six years as an Additional Inspector for Ofsted in London and the South East Region.

Mike holds a BA in Music from Leeds University (Bretton Hall); a PGCE from Manchester Polytechnic; and the National Professional Qualification for Headteachers (NPQH).

Originally from Cambridge, via the North West, Leicestershire and London, Mike now lives locally and has worked nationally, as well as in London and the East Midlands. He is a keen gardener, has an organic allotment and keeps bees and chickens.  Mike enjoys cooking for friends and family and remains a keen follower of the UK Music Industry.

Mike believes passionately in providing the best possible quality of educational provision for all our students, whatever their starting point, from across the East Riding and beyond.  East Riding College exists to provide very high quality training opportunities for local people, communities and employers, working in partnership with others to help drive economic regeneration and sustainable growth across the region.  Mike’s role as Principal and Chief Executive is to drive and lead this agenda on behalf of the students, staff and governors of the college.  In short, East Riding College is here to support people to transform their lives and fulfil their potential.

Watch the latest video of Mike being interviewed by students from our Media department.  


Helen Wooldridge, Vice Principal: Information, Planning, Learner Experience, Inclusion and Curriculum Operations 

Helen Wooldridge DirectorHelen joined the College as an assistant director in 2011 and was appointed as director of learner services, planning and diversity in July 2015 before becoming Assistant Principal in 2018 and Vice Principal in 2019. She has over 20 years’ experience in the education and skills sector and previously worked at the Skills Funding Agency, Learning and Skills Council and the Training and Enterprise Council. Helen achieved a first class BA (Hons) in Business and Management in 2010. She enjoys living locally in the East Riding of Yorkshire. In her spare time she enjoys walking and listening to live music.    



Neil Waterhouse, Executive Director:  Commercial and Finance


Neil joined the College in January 2019 following 30 years working within the banking sector in various senior commercial and business management roles, gaining a BSc(Hons) in Financial Services in 2001. Neil was also a Governor of the College for 5 years, which included a period as one of the Vice Chairs of the Board of the Corporation and Chair of the Audit Committee.

Neil is also involved in several local charitable/not for profit organisations and when time allows enjoys overseas travel, supporting Hull City and attending live music events.  



 Paul Smith, Director:  Curriculum Programmes, Learning, Quality

Paul has been at East Riding College for over 11 years starting as a part-time Sports Lecturer after completing his MSc in Biomechanics at the University of Hull. Between 2006-2011 Paul gained experience teaching a range of levels between 1-6 during his roles as a full-time lecturer and Curriculum Leader. Paul achieved his PGCE from the University of Huddersfield in 2009 and his final project ‘The Effectiveness of Lesson Plans?’ was published in the Journal of FE Alliance. Between 2010-2011 Paul lectured on a part-time basis at the University of Hull before becoming the Head of Leisure and Hospitality which included curriculum management of Sport, Travel, Public Services, Catering and Hospitality. Paul was appointed the Assistant Director of Quality, Teaching Standards and Higher Education in 2013 before becoming Director of Curriculum Programmes, Learning and Quality in 2018. In his spare time Paul enjoys spending time with family, participating and watching all kinds of sports and going to gigs.  



 Richard Sellick, Director of Business Programmes

Richard joined the College in 2002 after a number of years within the construction sector working across the region in site management and project management.  In his time at East Riding College he has had the pleasure of leading Higher Education, Adult Programmes, European Programmes and Apprenticeships.  He has a great interest in supporting businesses to grow and for providing opportunities for people in the  East Riding area.  Richard considers one of his greatest achievements to be leading the redevelopment of the College's St Mary's Walk campus and experiencing the impact it has had on staff and students across the area. In his spare time, Richard enjoys spending time with his family and friends and keeping in touch with his original roots undertaking construction projects, albeit on a much smaller scale at home.